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What alternate tunings do you use most?

Y'all come on in and sit a spell. All things Slide and alternate tuning. Celtic, country...whatever. Get your fill of DADGAD, open G and whatever tickles your fancy. Strictly on topic please.

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Postby Gchord » April 6th, 2010, 4:14 pm

I use Open G the most when playing slide on the resonator.I also use Open D on occassion. When playing the acoustic,I play a Drop D a lot,gives it a deep sounding tone and the chords aren't that much different.I don't play much out of those,I have used Open E when I had a cheap Epiphone I bought for $99.What do you all use the most?
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Postby Ricochet » April 7th, 2010, 3:06 am

Open D or E is where I've found my comfort zone. Sometimes Open G (or occasionally A), or its minor variant. I lump together tunings that have the same pattern at different pitches, because I'm normally playing alone. They're really only different tunings when someone's got to accompany you, or vice versa.
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Postby Blue Jay » April 7th, 2010, 6:52 am

I did open E when I was a kid, to play adult's or more mature music, and slide. Had to play for older folks, the 20 - 21 year olds? :shock:

Decades later, I started with Drop D, popularized by EVH, to play wilder, younger stuff? I see it as a Baby Boomer's thing if you look at the time line. I don't think that the 80's music will ever go away. :lol:
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Postby Dan T. » April 7th, 2010, 3:24 pm

I use open G for slide & Stones tunes mostly.
Drop D for a couple Zeppelin & Rage Against The Machine songs.
DADGAD for Kashmir and some originals.
That weird tuning Jimmy Page came up with for The Rain Song.
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Postby tinsmith » April 7th, 2010, 4:27 pm

G is my comfort zone. I think banjo. I think slide. I think Beggar's Banquet Stones & old blues songs.
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Postby Vic Lewis VL » April 19th, 2010, 6:38 am

I've mostly used open G - seems to suit my vocal range best. I've tried other tunings....open D, DADGAD, even a DADAAD tuning I used for a song I'd written. What I have found over the years is that playing in open G, I was playing mostly around the 2nd 3rd and 4th strings...so I started fooling around with playing slide in standard tuning, and these days, stick mostly to that. Funny how some things turn full circle, isn't it!

:D :D :D

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Postby Crow » April 19th, 2010, 7:03 am

I hardly even think of C standard (C F Bb Eb G C) as an "alternate" tuning any more, but it's mostly where I hang out when the spouse & I are working on duets. It fits our vocal ranges. It also sits very elegantly on a 12-string with .012s, as does open C (C G C E G C), my present fave tuning for slide. (There is something perverse & self-destructive about playing slide on a 12-string. I'm thinking of starting a 12-string 12-step group....)

Largely my tuning preferences seem to revolve around whom I'm listening to. These days my head is full of Blind Wilie Johnson.
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Postby Ricochet » April 22nd, 2010, 2:23 pm

Open D's a good one to be in for Blind Willie Johnson. Right now I've got my brass Rogue biscuit in A minor and have been jamming all around on "Summertime." Got off on "St. James Infirmary" for a while, too.
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Postby Crow » April 23rd, 2010, 8:13 am

Yeah, open D seems to have been Johnson's "standard" tuning. Do you know this song? (And since the thread is about alternate tunings, here's a version of the tune by Bruce Cockburn, a master of multiple tunings.)
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Postby Ricochet » April 23rd, 2010, 11:28 am

I love "The Soul Of A Man!" Haven't tried playing/singing it, though.
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Postby Crow » April 23rd, 2010, 3:41 pm

Ricochet wrote:I love "The Soul Of A Man!" Haven't tried playing/singing it, though.


Some Google research reveals that Bruce Cockburn used an open-C variant -- CGCGCE -- for his version. I like that attitude. Tune it to whatever gets the job done, play it in any key that seems right, and don't worry about getting it "just like the record." And if you get bored, change the tuning and try again. 8)
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Postby jason brann » June 26th, 2010, 9:43 pm

open g for blues, open d for major scale stuff
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Postby simo » August 14th, 2010, 6:24 pm

I liked double drop d and also the D6 tuning that M. Ward uses (DADF#BE). It's really gorgeous for fingerstyle.
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